First time buyers look for alternatives Thursday 5 July 2007 PDF Print First time buyers are seeking unconventional ways to get on the property ladder as rising interest rates and house prices continue to price them out of the market. Halifax – Britain’s biggest mortgage lender – yesterday released figures revealing house prices have risen 10.7% in the year to June, despite four interest rate rises since August. With a further rate rise anticipated today, innovative dotcom start-ups such as Humraz are looking to give struggling first time buyers a leg-up onto the property ladder. Humraz will sell properties for less than 5% of their value through its ‘lowest unique bid’ auctions. The concept works by charging participants £3 for every bid submitted. This charge is pooled into a syndicate to cover the cost of the auction properties and deliver ‘status messages’, which give bidders guidance on the progress of their bids. A £180k two bed flat in Woking is currently at Humraz auction. It will be sold for less than £9k. Mother-of-three Asmat Monaghan, who devised the concept, has noticed a siege mentality amongst first-time buyers participating in the scheme. ‘Our bidders know only one person will win the auction, but from the emails we receive daily, there’s a real ‘we’re in it together’ camaraderie amongst first time buyers. ‘By bidding for the property, you contribute to the syndicate, help close the auction and give yourself a chance of buying a property for a fraction of its value. Also, lots of people recognise the potential for this model: in time we could auction several properties in this way concurrently.’ One Humraz user recently offered the following appraisal of the service: ‘I think Humraz is a brilliant idea (whether I win or not). As a teacher living near Gatwick I can only dream of ever getting on the housing ladder. That your site will make a few people able to do so who might not otherwise is a fine aim.’ For further information, images and interviews with Humraz directors and participants, please contact: Sami McCabe m: +44 (0) 7789 777 440 t: +44 (0) 20 8849 8180 f: +44 (0) 20 8899 6001 e: email@example.com Editors’ Notes: • ‘Humraz’ is an anagram of Asmat Monaghan’s daughters’ initials • Bids are placed via SMS, online and post: there is no premium rate telephone line. • A soon as the auction closes there are no further bids accepted • After every auction, the equivalent of an estate agent’s fee (2.5% of a property’s market value) will be donated to Warchild UK, the charity dedicated to young victims of armed conflict • All properties at auction are owned by Humraz’s directors This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Forge London in the following categories: Men's Interest, Home & Garden, Women's Interest & Beauty, Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, Construction & Property, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.